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Celeb Aesthetician & IBE Founder Jillian Wright

We pick the brilliant brain of the celebrity aesthetician & Indie Beauty Expo founder.  

To say that we've been crushing on Jillian Wright for a while would be a massive understatement. She's EXACTLY the kind of woman we dreamed of getting to interview when we first launched The EVOLVher Journal so we're incredibly honored that she took time out of her crazy schedule to chat with us.

We know her mostly through Indie Beauty Expo (more on that soon), but Jillian has actually been in the beauty biz for over 15 years and was a celebrity aesthetician, spa owner, and the founder of Jillian Wright Skincare before launching the IBE platform. We've been lucky enough to participate and it more than delivers on its promise to recognize, showcase, and celebrate independent beauty brands (like us) and to support the growth and success of the entrepreneurs behind them (also like us). Cozy up with a cup of something warm (or a glass of vino) and read on for what's to come for IBE plus Jillian's incredible and generously detailed skincare tips, desert island product picks, and oh so much more!
What’s your first memory of falling in love with skincare/beauty products?

In my teens, I quickly learned that my skin and the sun did not get along. I would feel nauseous and faint whenever I was in direct sunlight. I wasn’t using products back then, but I did understand that the sun wasn’t my friend. I also suffered from hormonal acne and though I did not use topical medications, again, there was a correlation of cause and effect. I had compounded post inflammatory hyper-pigmention that I didn’t know how to get rid of. I have to admit, I was a picker most of my teen years. When I reached my early 20’s I fell in love with the beauty counter at Neiman Marcus and would buy La Prairie and Sisley. I dabbled with Lancome and Clinique as well. The clean beauty movement didn’t exist back then so I bought luxury. It made me feel good.
Why is it so important that we take care of our skin and implement a solid routine every day?

My recommendation to all my former facial clients was to always follow a strict skincare routine. Your skin is like a child, it thrives on routine!

A common routine would be to cleanse day and night. Exfoliate 2-3x a week, use a high powered antioxidant serum and eye cream during the day followed by a moisturizer and SPF. At night, I would recommend less. After cleansing, apply an eye cream and night time moisturizer. Don’t forget your neck, but be careful on your chest. I recommend using something super light on your chest. The trick is using different products that do different tasks. During the day, your products should help protect your skin from free radical damage. At night your products should help to repair your skin.  

There are intrinsic and extrinsic factors that damage your skin from stress, genetics, glycation (when sugar attaches itself to collagen), diet (sugar, salt, alcohol, processed foods), sun, pollution, elements, and emotional ups and downs.

The good news is that having healthy skin is based more on routine, method, and commitment, and not so much products. But, there is a caveat: the products you use should be clean. You don’t want to be using fillers and unnecessary toxic ingredients on your skin. Our skin is our largest organ - so take good care of it because it absorbs a lot!
How did you make yourself stand out as a celebrity Aesthetician?

I’m actually very private. I practiced Aesthetics before social media. I viewed my facial room as sacred, so when someone came in, they were there to improve their skin, but also to relax and feel good about themselves. They weren’t there to tell the world they were getting a facial. I think the high profile clients I treated appreciated that I was private and they could decompress and be themselves when they were with me.  
With so many emerging skincare lines and the popularization of the beauty blog/vlog, there’s more access to products than ever before - which makes it hard to know where to start when shopping. What do you look for in new beauty products before you decide to personally use or promote them?

I will try a line a few times to make my assessment. For me it starts with the cleanser. Will I finish the bottle? Then I know the brand is great. Since I have access to SOOO much, I usually try the brands that resonate with me first. Ingredients, texture, and formula are all very important to me and, of course, some work better than others on my particular skin.  

I always say to myself, “If I ever did facials again, could I get behind the brand and sell it to my clientele?” This is how I know if a brand is epic. With that said, there are so many incredible brands out there and that’s ok. Most are bespoke or local or at least smaller than mass market. They are offered at all different price-points too. Like I said earlier, it’s ok to try different brands as long as you read the ingredient deck and identify with the brand ethos. If it’s not working for you after about two weeks, move on.

As for promoting them, I do occasionally on IG, but not often. Maybe I would do it more if I had better lighting in my house!

What are your top products of all time?

Moisture x10 by Bioelements ($44.50) - this is the one product from my spa days I cannot live without. Granted it is not as clean as I would like, but it is the ONLY product that properly hydrates my skin all day. Since it has dimethicone, I do not go in the ocean if I have applied it. It also works well with other brands.

Club BFF Natural Rescue Balm by Get Everyday ($15) - this balm is perfect for my lips and any other body part feeling a bit cracked and dry.

Zero Gravity C2P Foundation by Au Naturale ($38) - this foundation stick is an extension of my skincare routine with all its good for you ingredients, including Meadowfoam seed oil and Vitamin E. I wear it when I work out, at home, and practically everyday unless I need fuller coverage for photography or video.

Elaine Sterling Collagen Eye Cream ($45) - it’s the perfect consistency for my dehydrated under eye area. The hydration lasts all day. I apply it in the am and pm.

Absolution Le Booster Superfood (49EU) - I apply this before the Moisture x10 and it absorbs beautifully into my skin. The main ingredients Acerola, Spirulina, and Maca help to plump and protect my skin from free radical damage.
If you could tell someone who knows nothing about skincare one single thing to get them interested, what would it be?

Taking care of your skin is a commitment, but you will not regret it. It shows that you care about yourself and your confidence and self esteem will flourish when you have healthy skin. Our skin needs help due to the internal and external free radicals constantly trying to damage our skin. You will see results if you make a consistent effort, no question.
IBE is such an important and influential show - how do you go about scouting new indie beauty brands to include?

It’s a team effort. Our entire team is constantly scouting. The editorial team at Beauty Independent is always hunting for interesting new brands and ingredient trends. BeautyX Summit is a place for discovery too and of course, good old fashioned Instagram. We meet so many brand founders across all our platforms, making the scouting process a little easier these days. But brands come to us too - they send emails or direct messages to one or all of our platforms on social media.  Plus, I go to many events to discover brands and meet them face to face. I think this is my favorite way to discover brands. We even have other brand founders that introduce us to brands they think would flourish from working within our universe of opportunities.
Where do you hope IBE will be in 5 and 10 years? What is the dream progress you would like to see in the beauty industry by then overall?

We will double down on expanding the universe of opportunities we have created through Indie Beauty Media Group, for example, we are launching the new BeautyX Entrepreneur Summit in 2020. This self-sustaining ecosystem will continue to grow because our team is listening to the ever evolving needs of the beauty founder. It isn’t a dream or a trend, indie brands will catch up to the mass marketed, corporate-owned brands eventually. We will be there every step of the way to support these entrepreneurs. If there is an unmet need, we will fill it.
Last, but not least - we're SO honored to call you an EVOLVher! Which of our products are your favorites and what improvements have you seen in your hair?

I’m a big fan of the SmartColor Color Protecting Duo. It leaves my hair soft and vibrant without compromise. I appreciate the small sizes as well. I refill them when I travel.